Less than 7 seconds to make a first impression. Six months to change it!
Life is constantly providing us with problems. If it’s not our personal problems, and our families’ problems, it’s the world’s problems, inherited problems. The problems these days can seem overwhelming. Few are the times we’ve had to live with this many levels and layers of uncertainty.
I wish I could do more about racial and social inequality, global pandemics, the economy, and so much more. I do what I can, and choose to live and work with others who do the same. But in these tough times I persist also in my business, in my own little corner of the world. My passion is showing women how to stand out from the crowd, be recognized as the experts they are, and find business and personal success on their own terms.
So, the one problem du jour that I can help with is rocking your style in virtual meetings – at least that’s what I’m hearing from my clients. I have been helping women look beautiful and feel confident for years. But how to project beauty and confidence virtually is indeed a new problem to solve. So we’re going to do a video conference!
Both Your Professional and Your Personal Brand are On Display
Virtual meetings are the new conundrum. Women are learning that how you show your style in virtual meetings is dramatically different from how you show up in person – but that it’s just as important! Your personal brand is on full display – sometimes for hours at a time! Yet, in the first couple weeks of the quarantine, some people were showing up to work calls in pajamas! Wow.
And are you now applying this other little trick – dressed to impress just on top – with PJ’s or sweats on the bottom? Just don’t forget and stand up. Don’t give your colleagues and clients something to talk about later – other than your incisive mind and cogent comments! (Don’t tell, but I still do this from time to time. It feels a bit naughty! But, it does save time, and can feel like one of the perks of working from home!)
But, seriously, how we look on camera and what’s around us in the background does communicate a lot. Like everything else about a woman’s personal/business brand, it can and should be managed. In a virtual meeting, conscious or not, you project an image; and that is something to pay attention to.
So this is our new world…Lights! Camera! Action! All of a sudden, we’re thinking about how we look in a new way. And from where I sit, it seems to be causing a lot of heartburn.
I’m calling the July 1 video conference the “Virtual Meeting Makeover,” and I promise it’s going to be a lot of fun! More importantly, we’re going to include every single thing you need to know to “Zoom” like a pro.
So…What (Exactly) Do You Need to Know to Zoom Like a Pro?
If you know me, you know we will start with your personal brand. I ALWAYS begin work with my clients by laying this foundation..
- You have to understand your personal brand before you can understand how to show up as your style in virtual meetings. It’s about really knowing what matters to you, your values and belief system, how you want to be remembered by others. Once you know your personal brand the next task is to understand how to communicate that. So when we talk about your hair, makeup, jewelry, wardrobe and the setting behind you. We will want to understand what you want to communicate.
- Let’s take the setting behind you. Are you in a room with nothing on the wall? What does that say about you? Is a wall of bookshelves behind you? (If so, what books are on those shelves)? Does the camera project something softer, like flowers or artwork behind you? (Again, if so, what kind?) Some people like virtual backgrounds. We’ll discuss this as well. They can be complex to pull off and the scene you choose also communicates. Believe it or not, I even notice the mug someone is holding when I talk to them online.
- There are lots of technical considerations as well. Is your face well lit, or are you backing on a window, your face kind of creepily in shadow? Does your camera placement force us to look up your nose? Or do we feel like you’re towering over us – appearing to dominate? These may seem like small things, but they’re not. Getting them right is easy – once you know how.
- Maintaining eye contact is essential! Eye contact is our primary nonverbal means of communication – it’s how we connect with one another. The odd thing about video conferencing is that, when we see another person on the screen, we are inclined to look at their image – which makes us feel like we’re making eye contact. But that’s not the case. Focusing our gaze at or just below the camera is what gives the impression of direct eye contact. I actually have a hack for this that I will share in the webinar.
- Yes, your hair, make-up and wardrobe matter – a lot! But even for these standard expressions of our personal brand the rules are different in the virtual world. And the world of the video conference has norms, etiquette, protocols that are unique to this platform. There’s quite a lot to know!
Join my video conference – July 1, from 3:00 – 4:30 PM where I will discuss these topics at length.
Honestly, who would have thought we would find ourselves in a world where online would be the primary place we socialize? Yet we’re having meeting after meeting for our businesses. We’re having virtual coffees, conferences, happy hours and parties. We’re having family game nights – all online. Virtual meetings are where we live most of our lives right now.
You may be starting to stray from the confines of home now that the world is opening up, but the CDC warns us to shelter in place as best we can until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine.
So whether you have had only an occasional virtual meeting these last few months, or you’re living your life online, you will want to show up at your best in this new medium. Why does it matter? Because it takes fewer than seven seconds to make a first impression. And from all the research, we know it takes at least six months to change that first impression. For the longest time, people thought first impressions were only made in person. Well, now’s the time to think again!
What We’ll Cover in the Virtual Meeting Makeover Video Conference
By now you’ve realized that rocking your style in virtual meetings requires a very different set of skills from showing up in person. So it’s time to take this new environment by the horns, master its nuances, and make the camera your friend!
Here’s what we’ll be covering:
(This is a preliminary list, based on feedback from many of you guys.)
- how to design your background, even in a tiny space ( or a messy office, a basement, etc.)
- where to locate the camera so you look your best
- eye contact (it’s harder than you think!)
- what to wear and not wear (the camera hates prints!)
- how to light yourself – for free! (Or if you want to spend hundreds of dollars, we’ll cover that too.)
- preparing your household (Assuring no photo-bombing by roommates, lovers, spouses, or the kids you’re now homeschooling!)
- how to be responsible for your “listening face” (You’ve seen it as a speaker or presenter, in the faces of a listening audience.)
So, while this won’t be a technical training, we might also deal with some unwritten do’s and don’ts that reveal you as either a rookie or a pro. (Don’t you love those “unwritten” rules?)
And, again, I promise it will be fun and interactive!
As always, we have some AMAZING BONUSES for the first 20 people to sign up! So don’t wait!
We didn’t ask for this, ladies! COVID-19 has forced it on us. But we are professionals. Every day brings a new challenge. Honestly, I don’t think the world will ever be the same and virtual meetings are here to stay.
So…let’s DO this thing! Let’s master yet another skill and move on to greatness!
P.S. Send me your suggestions for more topics to cover – and, if you dare, your most embarrassing Zoom moment!